Starfish Life Cycle: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mark Boster
Most people know about the life cycles of pets, like puppies or kittens, that are born, grow up and have their own children, then get old and die. But people don't usually know what goes on under the sea. Let's learn about the life cycle of a starfish.

Sandy Starfish

Hello, I am Sandy Starfish. Some people prefer to call me a sea star because I'm not actually a fish.

I welcome you to my home on the floor of the ocean. I'm going to tell you about when I was a baby starfish. I will also share my life into adulthood, eating, having babies, and death. Are you ready?

When I Was a Baby

When I was first fertilized in the ocean, I floated around with many other small animals. I was only about one millimeter long. I know, that is pretty small! I would float around and eat things smaller than myself.

For a few weeks there, I didn't eat at all. I didn't even look like a starfish yet, I just floated around until I fell to the bottom of the ocean. I was just a larva. When I landed on the floor, I began to become rounder and grew arms out of my center. That is when I grew and became the starfish you know today.


Sandy Scrapbook Page 1
pg1


Just an Arm

I have a friend, who began its life as an arm! Yes, an arm. Did you know that starfish are regenerative? That means that we can regrow parts that come off or lose. So if I lose a leg, a new leg will grow there. The leg I lost will also grow a new starfish. I bet you can't do that.


Sandy Scrapbook Page 2
regent


Dinner Time, Sandy

I am getting hungry and will eat some of my favorite foods: mussel, snails, oysters, and clams. I use the suction cups on the bottom of my legs to pull them apart. Then I do something really strange. I turn my stomach inside out. That way I can eat some food that is bigger than me. If the food is small enough I just keep my stomach inside. I also use the suction cups on the bottom of my tube feet to get around to find my food.


Sandy Scrapbook Page 3
three


Babies

The first thing you need to know about starfish having babies is that there's no touching. Sometimes starfish can have babies all by themselves. You see, some of us are not male or female, we are both. If I have babies by myself that is called asexual reproduction. Most of us make babies this way. We do this by squirting out eggs and then squirting out the sperm that fertilizes them.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support